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By Train: An Unfair Advantage


There have been rumblings around the state that voters will get the chance to approve a tax in 2008 to support another mass-transit train project that will have tracks lined all the way from Denver to Vail and beyond.

If posed to Colorado residents, and passed, it’s still 10 years or so from becoming a reality that helps take thousands of cars off the road each weekend on the way to the slopes. That leaves Vail, Arapahoe Basin, Cooper and all the other big resorts in the I-70 corridor left to waiting for mass transit to arrive at their parking lots.
Winter Park must be laughing at the thought.

Since 1940, The Ski Train has been leaving Denver, cutting through the rigid Rockies for 56 miles and leaving powder hounds at the base of Winter Park. It takes about two hours, or about half the time it takes to drive during weekend traffic.

And that doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling of being totted to the mountains in luxury. When you pull out of Denver’s Union Station at 7:30 a.m. and start chugging uphill, you get to enjoy the beauty of snow-capped mountains before zigzagging through gullies and ravines leaving you to absorb a view of the Rockies not available to most.

Or you can sleep. Or nibble on breakfast from the concessions. Or sip on a Bloody Mary to wake you up.
Basically you can do just about anything you can’t while driving.

When you arrive at Winter Park at about 9:30 a.m., you have the full day ahead of you to enjoy a premier resort (lift tickets are discounted if purchased through Ski Train). Mary Jane’s moguls are legendary, and you are plenty refreshed to tackle them. And you’ll need all that energy. Since you don’t have to worry about getting off the mountain early to dodge traffic on your way home, you can actually ski ’til the lifts close, meet the train at 4:30 and relax on your way back to the Front Range taking in all that beautiful scenery once again. Or you can sleep. Or nibble on some après ski snacks. Or tip back a cold beer to soothe your sore muscles.

Talk about an unfair advantage.

Schedule: Trains leave Union Station Thursday through Sunday starting Dec. 27, Price: $49 for coach, $74 for club (includes food and non-alcoholic beverages), Info: Ski Train, Skiing: Winter Park

Winter Sports Guide 2008 

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